Enel Russia and Rusnano are contemplating to explore a partnership for producing green hydrogen in Russia. The plan could be to produce green hydrogen by using water electrolysis and wind energy. Enel Russia is a Russian-based energy company owned 56.43% by the Italian electricity and gas giant Enel Spa. Rusnano is a Russian high-tech organisation.
The potential hydrogen plant would produce 12,000 tonnes/year of green hydrogen intended to be exported to the EU. The project would cost around US$ 320 million (€260 million) and be operational by 2024, Rusnano said in a project presentation seen by Kommersant.
Enel Russia is developing a wind energy project in the Murmаnsk rеgiоn which has the capacity of 201 MW. The plant is expected to be operational at the end of this year or early next year. One of the main concerns with the wind project in the region was the excess wind energy from the farm, as Murmаnsk does not require much power. Most of the demand is satisfied by Rosatom, the state nuclear energy supplier. Even Rosatom has also been pondering on developing a pilot hydrogen plant.
H2 Bulletin research shows that the Enel’s wind farm is one of Russia’s biggest wind power project and first of its kind in the Murmansk region. H2 Bulletin research further shows that Windlife Energy is also planning to develop Murmansk Wind Farm Project, Murmansk Region, North-west Federal Districtwind farm with a capacity of 200 MW. Outside the Murmansk region, the 250 MW West Crimean Wind Energy Project, Chernomorske, Crimea which is at the planning stage, is the largest in Russia based on its capacity.
Now the question is that if the Murmаnsk region does not require more energy, so why Enel has started building the wind farm in the first place. Hydrogen could not be on Enel plan from the start as the work began on the project back in 2017. One reason could be to start the project on the non-market driver reasons such as promoting renewable. Most wind and solar projects have started with the non-profitable aims and to promote the renewable industry. Enel could not be an exception. Now, with the growing demand for hydrogen, Enel wind farm project idea could be worth pursuing.
Nevertheless, it does not matter whoever comes out first with developing hydrogen plant in the Murmаnsk region; the issue would be how to deliver it to the market. The infrastructure especially the transportation has yet to be developed to transport hydrogen to the EU market safely.